Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Saxophonist Phil Stöckli has returned to Switzerland after having lived ten years in the United States. He has performed with Benny Golson, Phil Woods, Dusko Goykovich, Buddy deFranco, Matthieu Michel, Franco Ambrosetti, Roman Schwaller, Nico Assumpção, Brad Leali, Don Friedman, Little Joe Cook und The Dells.
Stöckli was born in Basel, Switzerland on May 16, 1973, and started playing the saxophone at age thirteen. He showed an early interest in improvisation and commenced his jazz studies at the age of sixteen at the Jazz School Zürich, before attending the Swiss Jazz School in Bern. At the age of twenty, Phil moved to Boston and enrolled at Berklee College of Music. His teachers included Joe Viola, George Garzone und Andy McGhee among others. Besides school, he studied privately with saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi for about three years. While working with different local Boston bands - styles range from R&B, Blues, Top40, Jazz, Funk or Reggae - he also founded the Phil Stöckli sextet, and had his first professional performances 1995 in Switzerland.
In 1997, tours with Turkish composer Mehmet Sanlikol to Turkey, Argentina and Brazil followed. He also worked on Carnival Cruise ships in the Caribbean. Subsequently Phil started a teaching position at Central Music in Brockton, MA.
In 1997, he received his Bachelor's degree Magna cum laude from Berklee College.
In 1998, he recorded his first album The Horizon for the BRAMBUS label with Swiss Flügelhornist and 25-year-ENJA recording artist Franco Ambrosetti. Trumpeter Matthieu Michel (Vienna Art Orchestra) replaced Ambrosetti on the following two tours through Switzerland and Italy. In the fall 1999, Phil moved to New York City. Apart from freelancing, he became a member of the Haitian Band System Band. With them and other Haitian bands, he did many recordings and performances from Haiti, Montreal, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, Miami, Orlando, to the Bahamas, New York and Paris.
In late 2000, Phil performed at the Generations Festival in Frauenfeld, Switzerland with such greats as Benny Golson, Dusco Goykovich, Don Friedman, Brad Leali and Roman Schwaller. Soon thereafter, Phil started teaching at the Westerhoff School of Music in Metuchen, NJ.
In January 2001, Phil's New Swiss Quartet was invited to perform at the MIDEM in Cannes (France), and a tour of Switzerland followed, featuring original compositions.
In July 2003, Stöckli released his new album Third Eye on the Fresh Sound New Talent label. It features all original compositions. The band consisted of some of New York's most promising young players: Jeff Ballard (Chick Corea, Kurt Rosenwinkel) on drums, Matt Penman (Rosenwinkel, Chris Cheek) on bass, Pete Rende (Chris Cheek) on piano and Mike Moreno (Jeff Watts, Greg Osby) on guitar.
In April of the same year, Phil's Quintet was featured at the Swiss Peaks Festival in NYC with a performance at the BAM cafe. During his four years in New York City, Phil has also studied privately with saxophonists Dick Oatts, Vincent Herring and Steve Slagle.
In the fall of 2003 the saxophonist has returned to his home country Switzerland to promote the release of his new album Third Eye. With pianist Michael Beck he co-founded INTUITION, an acoustic jazz quintet featuring tenor saxophonist Domenic Landolf, bassist Andreas Zitz and drummer Claudio Strüby. The group s departing point was a tribute to the blind pianist / composer Lennie Tristano. The new CD is entitled Lennie s Line and will be released on December 1, 2006 on the Swiss Altrisuoni label. Besides arrangements of Tristano compositions the album features originals by Stöckli and Beck. Apart from being a composer, teacher and performer, Phil has been working since 2000 as a regular columnist for the Swiss Jazz Magazine Jazz'n More and is enrolled in a Masters program in Psychology at the University of Zürich.